|dress by Chanel|
"It's become more about taking a risk. When I am putting looks together, I dare myself to make something work. I always look for the most interesting silhouette or something that's a little off, but I have to figure it out. I have to make it me. I think that's the thrill in fashion."
|dress by Lanvin|
You have to admit that Only Girl (In The World) is such a feel-good song. It makes you want to get into a convertible with the top down and blasting the song in the stereo with your girlfriends. Rihanna's new album LOUD isn't the the first one that made women want to have a dance party when no one is watching. Ever since she has hit the music scene, Rihanna has been churning out one chart topping hit after another. But her latest album proves to be the biggest yet, especially with a year filled with tons of music collaborations (like Drake and Eminem.) But I have to admit that I wasn't a huge Rihanna fan until I read her Aprill 2011 Vogue cover story. I mean sure I enjoyed her music and I'm partial to her fashion choices, but it wasn't until now that I've developed a new found respect for her.
If bohemian chic is synonymous to Nicole Richie, then edgy/cool is the dictionary definition for Rihanna's fashion. I give her props for being a risk taker, but I can't say that I'm a big fan of a lot of her red carpet or out-and-about paparazzi photos ensembles. I can't stop thinking about the Jean Paul Gaultier dress she wore to this year's Grammy's red carpet and I would never wear a necklace that says, F**k Off. Eek. But then again I'm not the body-conscious / bondage dresses kind of girl. My style is too much on the romantic side for that. The closest thing I will ever get to an edgy-Rihanna-like look is by wearing my black, Steve Madden gladiator heels and a moto jacket. And I must say that no one can pull off such a bright red hair color as well as she does, a color which is now known as Rihanna-Red. I do give her props for taking a lot of fashion risks even though it doesn't always deliver a fashion hit.
I love it when I have a preconceived notion about someone and that person completely surprises me and change the way I look at him or her. As close as anyone is ever going to get to really know a celebrity, I, along with probably thousands of other people, always thought that Rihanna was a "super sexy diva" with amazing singing pipes. So I was really surprised to find out that she has no resemblance to that categorization in this issue of Vogue's 10th Annual Shape Issue.
In the cover story, which was styled by Tonne Goodman and shot by the photographer, Annie Leibovitz, Rihanna, whose name was Robyn when she was growing up in Barbados, talked more than just embracing her curves and getting in shape for her upcoming action flick, Battleship (to be released in May 2012.) From her early childhood style, to her style evolution, to her hopes of launching her very own clothing line and possibly an online magazine for "young girls with attitude" and her relationship with her mother and estranged father, she let out a lot of personal details about her life. Rihanna exposed a side of herself that we all seldom see, hear, or read about. But then again I guess the guarded and "masked" persona is a given, especially after her famous and highly publicized fiasco with
Chris Brown. She also credits her new hair-do and look for her new sound and approach to life saying that, "when I cut my hair, the whole sound changed," and that writing songs and singing about her personal struggles (past and current traumas) brought her at peace with herself.
What sold me in her interview was when she started talking about being "unapologetic" with her fashion and music. She said that, "I keep using the word unapologetic. But there's a freedom that has come with all of that. Where you feel like you don't have to make an excuse for being yourself." Even though she was broadly talking about being unapologetic in a sense of her style and music, this wisdom should be taken with a grain of salt and not misconstrued as an instruction be wild and delinquent. This doesn't necessarily mean we should all go out and wear "F**k Off" necklaces and just wear bikini tops to inappropriate places. I think her message is simply to believe and be confident with yourself, style wise or not. I'm a firm of believer of my own saying that 'be who you are and be unapologetic about it -- but in a respectful way.' Don't ever get Rihanna's unapologetic approach to life to
Taylor Momsen's teenage debauchery. There's quite a distinction!
When in doubt, just think about that famous Dr. Seuss quote, "be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." With that beautiful thought, I leave you with these these beautiful photographs of Rihanna's April 2011 cover shoot in a very soft and carefree beach scenery.